3rd January, Winlaton Mill…Almost a blank!



I have not been out as much as I would have liked so far this winter , so it was a nice treat to have a day on the river, the first I have had for about 3 weeks, probably the longest stretch this season.


I decided to go a little later today so didn’t arrive in the car park until something like 11.30am. It was indeed a  beautiful day with a typical low winter sun providing only the tiniest amount of warmth the temperature must have been something like 7°C but once out of the sun it felt much much colder.


I bumped into a couple of guys kitting up as I arrived and after a quick chat I headed off up past the viaduct and planned to fish my way back to the car. I had my rod kitted up with a standard GRHE with a gold head on the point and a small brown spider on the dropper, gold head has done well for me all year.


Walking up through the sunshine it was fairly pleasant it has to be said, keeping an eye on the water as I walked up , I didn’t spot a single rise, I did however spot both, a bloody great Heron (they ARE really massive) and a Cormorant both within about 50 yards around high dam. Under the Viaduct I went and started at the nice run just down from the meadow. The first two runs produced not a thing however to I changed the flies up deciding to try a bit of colour, see if that’s what they were after.


So on went a gold head with a nice red “collar” and a bright pink gold head on the dropper. I ran these flies through the swim above the viaduct.. just along the fallen tree which is a nice pool then right  under the viaduct both to no avail.


Climbing out and walking along the nature reserve part of the club waters there was still no sign of fish showing.  Still unperturbed though there is still plenty off good  runs to go , first of which was the nice streamy run above high dam, casting right under the now leafless trees is  somewhat easier in the winter, however this pool produced the same as the rest today.


Time for another change, on goes an olive gold head and Greenwell’s spider on the dropper. Walking over the stone bridge I see one of the anglers I met in the car park who had also drawn a blank up to that point…around 2.30pm..so it wasn’t just me!!


I walked on and decided to give to tree pool a little  run, second cast in and a small pull…relief!! next cast and another although tentative, I stayed here and cast another 4 times without success…a couple of steps and another cast, this time a hook up.. only a  small fish but more than welcome doesn’t cover it!! a nice silver grayling something like  6” taken on the Olive gold head…blank off!!


Clambered out and walked down towards butterfly bridge deciding to fish the first couple of runs…not a sausage though..It was now something like 3.15pm and I decided enough was enough ..saying that it was a thoroughly pleasant day a typical winters day I guess, river was at a good level, it’s days like this when you appreciate the balmy summer days where you get bite after bite and loads of fish are rising..soon be here now!